My natural hair is not disrespectful.

Lunia Collado
Cranston, RI

As an adult, I’ve been living between the US and the Dominican Republic. While in the US, curly/kinky hair is not usually a big deal, it definitely can be, and is often perceived as unprofessional for situations such as job interviews and media appearances. In the Dominican Republic, the issue of hair is a breathing, intimidating monster. I’m pretty sure that well over 60% of the population has curly or kinky hair, but you would never know it walking through the streets. I have seen personally how differently people treat women who wear their hair straight compared to those who wear it curly, and most women are at a loss when it comes to styling curly hair. My cousin in the DR told me that in her communication class at a technical school, the professor advised the female students to go to the salon and straighten their hair before any professional events or class presentations, because wearing it curly is disrespectful. I would really like to meet that woman to have a talk about racism.

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